|Birth: ||Nov. 18, 1901|
|Death: ||Jul. 27, 2003|
Catherine Mathews Friel, a longtime resident of Pullman, Wash., died July 27 at age 101.
She was born Nov. 18, 1901, in Colfax, Wash., but lived all but five years of her life in Pullman. She was the elder daughter of John Wilbur Mathews from Indiana, a Pullman attorney serving twice as Whitman County prosecuting attorney, and Serena Florence Wallis Mathews, from Wisconsin, an early day school teacher and ardent civic club woman serving two terms as president of the Federated Clubs of Washington. John Mathews was mayor of Pullman at the time of his death in 1917.
Catherine Mathews attended grade schools in Pullman and graduated from Washington State College (now university) with a B.A. in English. Two siblings, an older brother, Homer, and younger sister, Charlotte, also graduated from WSC. In high school and college, Catherine Mathews was active in drama. She was a member of the honorary college organizations, Phi Kappa Pi, MortarBoard, and a Regimental Sponsor (president of the Women's Auxiliary of the men's ROTC). She was a member of the student national sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. As an alumna of KAT, she served two terms in the 1960s as president of the National's Northwest District XV that included alumnae chapers in Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia. For 30 years, she served her Pullman Chapter Alpha Sigma of Kappa Alpha Theta as alumnae president of the Alumnae Board and Special Building Board.
Catherine Mathews was married, in Pullman, on Aug. 28, 1926, to John Bryan "Jack" Friel, from Waterville, Wash., a 1923 WSC graduate with a degree in economics and history. He also was a varsity basketball at WSC. After teaching and coaching in high schools for three years, he served 30 years as head basketball coach at WSC. In 1963, Jack Friel was appointed the first athletic commissioner for the newly founded Big Sky Athletic Conference, a position he held for eight years. He preceded his wife in death on Dec. 12, 1995.
The Friels had four children, two of whom preceded them in death. Charlotte Friel, the older daughter, and John Mathews Friel, the younger son, both died in 1971. They were both graduates of Washington State College. The Friels' older son, Judge Wallis W. Friel, also a graduate of WSC, practiced law for many years in the Pullman firm of Irwin, Friel and Myklebust before being elected to Superior Court Judge of Whitman County in 1987. Dr Janette Friel, their younger daughter, graduated from Stanford University and then received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Florida. She currently is retired from a successful small animal practice in Atlanta, Ga. She also is survived by four grandsons, four great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.
Catherine Friel continued her literary studies in two clubs, joining the Pullman Literary Club, Fortnightly, in 1929, and Pullman Chapter S of P.E.O. in 1926. She continued her own studies at WSC to obtain her master's degree in English, which led her to a teaching position of Senior English at Pullman High School for eight years. Catherine also was an avid collector of authentic late Victorian furniture and various antiques of other times and nature.
Washington State University recently honored Catherine, at age 97, with the "Washington State University Foundation Outstanding Service Award."
(Moscow-Pullman Daily News, July 28, 2003)
John Wilbur Mathews (1864 - 1917)
Serena Florence Wallis Mathews (1871 - 1952)
John Bryan Friel (1898 - 1995)
Charlotte Friel (1929 - 1971)*
John Mathews Friel (1938 - 1971)*
Homer H. Mathews (1896 - 1968)*
Catherine Mathews Friel (1901 - 2003)
Odd Fellows Cemetery
Plot: Lot 93, Grave 9
Created by: Larry Linehan
Record added: Nov 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100723775